Monday, November 17, 2014

That awkward moment when your food smiles at you.

So this happened to me a few days ago shortly after eating breakfast. No, I didn't rig it in any way. That would be cheating. I did think it was hilarious though.
For those non-missionaries wondering what it is that we teach, here is the bulletpoints taken from each of the 5 lessons:

You can get more on them by actually going to Preach My Gospel.

Alas, I am pressed for time once more so please excuse any typos you may find. We have (hopefully) someone being baptized on the 29th. A guy by the name of M***. He's a non-member in a Part Member family, and has been talking with the missionaries for probably close to a year. Elder Holden was just super bold and straight-up with him and said "So, Brother M***, are you going to be baptized or what?" The best part is that we had been joking around with his wife a while back about how we just need to keep on coming over so that when he is ready to join the Church we could baptize him because 'he would make a great Branch President'. She had a good laough at that, mainly because she just didn't see it happening any time soon. A few weeks later she had an interview with the Stake President, and he told her that her "husband's heart may be softened and who knows, he would probably be the next Branch President". That about knocked her off of her chair! She cornered us in the parking lot that Monday and asked us who we'd been talking to about this, and we told her we'd talked with nobody. And now her husband wants to be baptized. Yeah, #Miracles. This is also the guy who loves to insult everyone in sight out of love, especially missionaries, calling us devil worshipers, the like. Naturally it's all false and in jest, but of all the people I thought would want to join the church this month his name was not at the top of the list. We go back over to see him today hopefully.

As to the Pentacostal missionaries, there really wasn't all that much to mention here other than it was one of the most scriptually founded and polite Bible Bashes I've ever been in. Unlike most preachers/pastors/other you meet down here who just talk over you, these two gentlemen actually let us talk and share all of the scriptures we had before they talked, and we afforded them the same courtesy. It really was awesome. Neither one of us were interested in joining the other group's church, we were both too faithful in our own church, but.... yeah. It was interesting.

One thing we are working on teaching wise is the idea of finding where you teach and teach where you find. Both Elder Holden and I agree that we should be able to teach far more than just 4 lessons per day. We just need to start teaching as soon as we first start talking to someone, whether it be outdoors or just after knocking on a door. This will also help those we talk to understand that we aren't just there to sell Bibles to people as so many people here in Walnut Ridge think, that we actually have a message of great importance that will bring greater happiness and joy into the lives of those who hear it and decided to give it a shot. With this in mind we have a goal to teach a total of 29 lesson this week. We should be able to do it, as we made 31 last week. Just teach where ever you go.

I'm out of time, but I just want everyone to know that I know who it is I represent. I am a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare His word among this people, that they might have Everlasting Life. This message of the Restoration and all it entails is not meant to convert anyone to a specific church, but to Christ Himself. When we are converted to Christ, we will naturally want to join His church. That is the church I for whom I preach. This is the Lord I represent. This is my witness, that I know this to me true. Christ is King, and His church is back on this earth once more, and it will never be taken away until He comes again to personally rule on Earth.

-Elder Jayden Barker

This Week- November 10, 2014

Howdy yall! Not a whole lot of time to say anything I'm afriad. Last week was really awesome lesson-wise. We were able to teach a total of 30 lessons, almost a record high for me. We were also able to find a family that is pretty awesome, but the thing is there are no men in the picture at all. This means we have to bring another male with us whenever we want to teach them. #ElderProbs. This will be good for us though, as we are trying to get better at using the members here in the branch. We also ran into a couple of Pentacostal Missionaries, and somehow got roped into going back to talk with them again today. I'll let you know how that went next week. Elder Holden and I are getting along well. We had a really good Companionship inventory this last Friday and got a lot of things talked about and worked out. We've got a bunch of prospects investigator-wise that we are hoping to contact and help them start progressing in the Gospel. 
Love you all!
Elder Jayden Barker
Alma 26:22

Monday, November 3, 2014


Howdy y'all!
I'm afraid I don't have a whole lot of pictures to send to you. Just the one of an investigator's cat trying his very hardest to get into a shelf crammed with DVD's and stuff. He actually succeeded at first. And then he tried to wiggle a little more to get in a little bit deeper and fell flat on his back with a spray of DVD cases. True story, cats do NOT always land on their feet. Also a random squirrel I saw chilling on a tree.
Halloween was fun, but since it is one of the biggest wastes of time for knocking on doors for missionaries we just went indoors by 6. I had a personal goal to read all of the New Testament in the 4-ish hours before I went to bed. Plenty of time for a bibliophile like myself to read a couple hundred pages, right? Surprise of all surprises, our door just kept on being knocked on by a bunch of strangely dressed children! Perhaps I should have thought of that before I made my goal, but I will just say that I failed in reading the entire N.T.  I did get to the tail end of Mark though.
We also had a haloween activity the Thursday before with huge success. There were about 30 kids that showed up, and the best part was that some of them were the M***family!!! We literally called everybody on the list trying to get a ride for this family to come up to the church for the activity, but absolutely nobody was able to help. We were literally praying for a miracle and had pretty much given up hope that we would find someone to get them there because of the lateness of the hour, when Brother Clark called us back after getting our voicemail and said that he was actually in Walnut Ridge at that moment and would be able to help us out. It was so awesome! Yes, they still can't come to church with us for the longest time, but the fact still is that they came and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
Other than that not a whole lot has been happening. Just been super busy with missionary life. I've not enjoyed lunch-time naps this much for a while, perhaps since Finals in college, and that wasn't even this stressful! But hey, Viva La Restoration!!
Catch you all later!
Elder Jayden Barker

October 27, 2014 New Comp, Splitting time.

Yes, I've got a new companion. His name is Elder Holden, and he's from California. He worked at McD's and used to play soccer and baseball, although he most enjoyed baseball. Both mission age and real life he's about 3 months older than I am, but this is his 6th area. He's been in some of the nicest places, but also some of the most rough ones, so I've now got a great gold-mine of information that I can pick through. We are a great deal alike, so things will work out great!
The M*** family are doing well; we will see them tomorrow. Stopped by really briefly to tell them about the Branch halloween party going down this Friday, but didn't have long to stop and chat. Elder Holden is looking foward to getting to know them a little bit better. The next disccusion with them will hopefully involve their kids a little bit more.
The A*** family wasn't able to come to church. We saw them the day before, which is when they let us know. Not sure what went down, but it involved Coke getting thrown on someone and a spoon (maybe?). #FamTroubles. We were over there last Friday and read with the the yougest ones, bribing them with peanutbutter brownies that Elder Raiford had baked but had forgotten to bring to church. I'm not a big fan of nuts in stuff, and neither is Elder Holden, so this was incredibly convenient. Pray that they will be able to come next week.
The final big thing I want to talk about, because I'm out of time, is that for the month of November our entire mission has decided to cut our P-Days down to 4 hours instead of 8. This means we will be hitting the streets once more by 2 instead of 6. The reason is we have a mission goal of 100 baptisms and 100 reactivations, almost double the number of baptisms we've ever gotten in one month. With all of this we are hoping that it will get the missionaries focused on the work instead of using their P-days for recreation. This is great, except for we actually use our time to clean and get the lawn mowed and stuff. So I'll not be writing as much that month, and will instead be knocking on more doors. I really am hoping that this experiment will be a huge success.
That's all for today, I'm out of time, Love you lots! The church is true, the Book is blue, and God loves you! If you doubt any of these things, or are afraid to act on them, get down on your knees and simply ask God for help, and then go and do what He says must be done. I know prayer works and when we do these things, such as reading the scriptures, going to church, and praying, we will be richly blessed.
Until Next Time!
Elder Jayden Barker
Elder Raiford's and my final picture. In front of the Bartlett, TN Temple.

We were in Corning and were trying to get to a member's house. We drove past the county road she lives on and didn't realize it until it was a little too late. Great photo moment though. Yes, I have walked in Missouri now.